WIS criticises super objective

The Government's objective of superannuation and the low income superannuation tax offset (LISTO) does not improve the super prospects of women, Women in Super (WIS) believes.

In a submission to the Senate inquiry into the Superannuation (Objective) Bill 2016 (provisions), the advocacy and networking group said it did not support the proposed primary objective of superannuation.

It said the objective should specifically mention men and women and include an aspiration regarding improving income in retirement.

"Women in Super recommend that gender analysis be undertaken to evaluate the impact of all superannuation and retirement income system changes including changes to the Age Pension," the submission said.

"The absence of a reference to adequacy or the standard of living we expect in retirement means any ‘statement of compatability' can ignore qualitative outcomes.

"The absence of a specific reference to women means any ‘statement of compatability' can ignore the impact of changes on the superannuation gender gap."

Commenting on LISTO, WIS said the new government measures that recalibrate superannuation tax concessions received by high income earners — while reducing the concessions received by high income earning men — did not improve the super prospects of women.

"It is disappointing to see the saving made within the system has not been used to improve outcomes of women," WIS said.

"The LISC [low income super contribution] LISTO could have been extended to make a meaningful improvement for many women. Instead, the Government has given the LISC a new name ‘LISTO' and treated this rebate of unfair tax payments as a ‘new measure' (despite applying to 2.1 million women for the past three years) and counted it as a ‘new cost' which offsets the tax savings.

"Even so, a further $2.1 billion of ‘net' savings have been taken out of the superannuation system — yet nothing meaningful has been done for women."

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